8 Tips For Designing Your Career GPS

You want a promotion with more responsibility and a higher salary that also positions you well for future growth.  How do you get there?  Which roles should you seek?  Is it best to stay where you work now or jump to someplace else?

What you’re looking for is a career GPS.

Here are eight tips for developing your career GPS, based on my infor clues.terviews with hundreds of women leaders (especially those in science, technology, engineering and math, STEM), and my own professional experience in Fortune 500s and media companies:

1.Deconstruct what’s worked: Identify women role models in your industry and deconstruct their career paths. What do they do exceptionally well?  Which jobs did they hold and for how long? What are they known for (key accomplishments, particular talents)?  What training do they have?  Did they change companies to advance to the next level (and if so, after how many years)?  That might give you a “destination” (or two or three) and the beginnings of a map to get there, forming your career GPS.
Hannah Fairfield, Climate Editor of The New York Times left there after ten years to work at The Washington Post in a different role.  She then returned to The Times a few years later “with a rich new set of skills.”
2. List what you’re good at and compare: What do you do well? What do other people say you do well? Include the stuff that’s easy for you, too, which we often take for granted.  How do they match up against your potential “destinations”? What do you need to excel at or learn?
3. Explore the options: Check your company’s website and other job boards and notice which jobs resonate with you. How they correlate with what you do well or want to learn?  Make notes.

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4. Identify “stretch” roles:  Fairfield told me her career journey illustrates that, “It’s really important to do something that scares you. To do something that you’re not quite sure you can do.  It’s about…making ourselves a little bit uncomfortable in our careers so that we can grow.”

So, what stretch roles intrigue you and why? What do you need to demonstrate to land those roles and succeed?  Check out the bios and résumés of the folks in those roles today for clues.

Read the rest of the tips here, on Forbes, where this blog first appeared.